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Deadliest Catch: Bloodline Started Out As A Joke For Josh Harris

"Deadliest Catch" captured audiences hook, line, and sinker when it premiered on Discovery in 2005. The series looks at the dangerous world of crab fishing, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the perils of the industry, as well as day-to-day details like meal prep and below-deck downtime.

In 2020, "Deadliest Catch" got a tropical update with the spin-off "Deadliest Catch: Bloodline." The series follows Josh Harris and Casey McManus, co-captains on the Cornelia Marie, as well as local fisherman Jeff Silva as they traverse the waters of Hawaii's Kona Coast. There, the seafarers search for lucrative ahi tuna, as well as other fish like marlin, mahi-mahi, and barracuda.

For the Bering Sea-bound crabbers, the warm-weather environment in Hawaii, not to mention the unfamiliar species, are a far cry from the fishing on "Deadliest Catch." But Josh Harris didn't cook up the spin-off just to take a vacation. Here's the unlikely way that "Bloodline" came to fruition.

The pitch for Deadliest Catch: Bloodline was a joke until it wasn't

In addition to showcasing the wide variety of commercial fishing, "Deadliest Catch: Bloodline" is a moving tribute to Josh Harris' father, the late Captain Phil Harris. As fans of the spin-off series know, Josh Harris and Casey McManus use the veterans' charts to map a course in Hawaii. "My dad was a legend on the Bering Sea. When he died, he left me a mystery," Harris says with gravitas in the series' promo. "If I can carry on the old man's torch, it'll be worth it."

In reality, the seed for the idea originally had far less gravitas. When Harris came across a cache of his dad's fishing charts from the '80s while remodeling the Cornelia Marie, he joked that they would be fun to investigate. "I was like, 'Yeah, let's go find these spots out here and check it out, you know, it's warm too!'" he told Sig Hansen in an interview from around the time of the spin-off's initial debut. "We were joking and then a couple days later I was on a plane and we started to go check it out, and I didn't really know what we were getting ourselves into or what we were going to find."

Though the series may have started as a joke, Harris now feels right at home in Hawaii. "I could definitely see myself getting a place in Hawaii and fishing that out for months at a time," he told TV Shows Ace. "There's a lot of money to be made."